Mini Pumpkin Pudding Pies

It’s finally fall, and you know what that means…

Make everything pumpkin!

Here’s a quick and easy way to make mini single-serve “pumpkin pies.”  It’s just a twist on my recent post Mini-Mousse Pies.

Just replace the chocolate mousse with this Jell-o Pumpkin Spice Instant Pudding.  We made the pudding as directed on the box and poured it into the mini pie crusts before refrigerating for about an hour.  Top with a bit of whipped cream if you want (obviously, delicious), and enjoy!  This is so simple, so easy, so quick, and it’s great to have a single-serving option rather than having an entire pumpkin pie tempting me.

It tasted great, though I don’t like the pudding filling as much as real pumpkin pie filling.  If there’s a way to make the pudding a bit firmer so it’s more like pie filling, I’d recommend trying that, too.  Overall, though, this dessert was a great success!

So tiny, so adorable, so delicious!

So tiny, so adorable, so delicious!

Mini-Mousse Pies

I’ve been working on being more healthy, and one of the things I’m doing is trying to make better, healthier food choices.  I don’t think it’s possible to keep up a fad diet.  But I do think it’s possible to make good choices most of the time, and to make changes that can last. It’s not easy, but getting creative can help!

That being said, sometimes, you just really want something sweet.  This weekend when we were grocery shopping, we came up with an idea that I think solves that problem without totally blowing your calories for the day.  Give these mini-mousse pies a try!

Ingredients:

Mini-Mousse Pies Ingredients

To Make:

  1. Follow the instructions on the chocolate mousse mix box.
  2. Divide the mousse into four of the mini pie crusts. (I just used a big spoon!)
  3. Refrigerate for 2 hours, and enjoy!

See how easy that is?  SO easy!  You only need three ingredients and three steps!  The finished product gives you four single-serving desserts that are under 200 calories… How awesome is that?  Not only that, but if you’ve already got milk in your fridge, the other two ingredients will only cost you about $5 total. (And the mousse comes with two pouches, so it’s enough to make this dessert twice.)  Even better, you can make these however you like.  Feel like topping with some fresh fruit?  Go for it!  Maybe some chopped walnuts, coconut, mini-chocolate chips, or almond slivers… Go crazy!  You can also use different flavors of mousse or even sugar free or low fat pudding mix (though the instructions, ingredients, and nutrition information will change).  So many possibilities, so easy, and so much better for you than going to Dairy Queen!

Do you have any healthy snacks or desserts you love to make?  Please share them in the comments!  I’m always looking for new ideas!

So cute, right?

So cute, right?

Chocolate Mousse Nutrition Facts

Chocolate Mousse Nutrition Facts

Pie Crust Nutrition Facts

Pie Crust Nutrition Facts

Peppermint Bark Brownies

This is a new twist on an old favorite, my To-Die-For Toffee Brownies.  I substituted peppermint bark for the toffee and used Funfetti brownies because… well, let’s face it, Funfetti makes everything better!  DE-LISH!

Although I used the Girahdelli squares in the photo above, I don’t think that was the best idea.  I would recommend using the Peppermint Bark Bars instead.  I used milk chocolate, but I think the dark chocolate would be good, too.  Like the toffee bars from my previous recipe, two of these should cover the 8×8 pan pretty well.  I wasn’t able to find them at the store today, but i will definitely make sure I use them next time because there weren’t enough of the squares in the bag to fully cover the pan (and it’s just not as easy!)

Steps:
  1. Preheat the oven according to the brownie mix directions and prepare an 8×8 baking pan (I usually use cooking spray, but you can grease it the old fashioned way if you really want)
  2. Mix the brownie mix according to the directions on the box. I used the Funfetti mix in the photo above instead of the Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie mix with the Hershey’s syrup because I wanted something a little festive.  They turned out great!  The brownies were moist and fluffy, much less dense than the Supreme mix I’ve used before.
  3. Spread half of the brownie mix into the pan. If it’s not exact, don’t worry, but make sure there is enough to completely cover the bottom of the pan with enough left over for another full layer.
  4. Open the two Peppermint Bark bars and place them as a layer on top of the bottom layer of brownie mix. If you use an 8×8 pan, they will fit perfectly! If you use another pan, you’ll have to do some breaking and puzzle work, but it’s still do-able.
  5. Spread the rest of the brownie mix on top.
  6. Bake according to the box directions but subtract two-three minutes from the bake time (I believe it comes out to 42 mins. instead of 45).
  7. Cool, cut, and enjoy!

Even though the peppermint bark holds its shape when cooled, the peppermint flavor is fantastic.  It’s not overwhelming, but not too subtle, either.   I really enjoyed this new recipe.  It was fun to try something new, and it’s even better when it turns out well!

I think this is a great holiday recipe, and I hope you enjoy!

To-die-for Toffee Brownies

These are SO easy to make! My good friend was making them for a party one day and shared the recipe. I’ve brought them to work potlucks, family gatherings, and this year’s Fourth of July BBQ and they’re always a hit!
(Sorry… this isn’t the best picture!  This was from the first time I made them, so the layers aren’t very even.  I’ll try to post a new photo next time I make them!)
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 50 minutes
  • Servings: 8-12

Ingredients:

Steps:
  1. Preheat the oven according to the brownie mix directions and prepare an 8×8 baking pan (I usually use cooking spray, but you can grease it the old fashioned way if you really want)
  2. Mix the brownie mix according to the directions on the box. I use Betty Crocker Supreme Brownie mix with the Hershey’s syrup because it makes really moist brownies that are perfect and rich!
  3. Spread half of the brownie mix into the pan. If it’s not exact, don’t worry, but make sure there is enough to completely cover the bottom of the pan with enough left over for another full layer.
  4. Open the two Symphony bars and place them as a layer on top of the bottom layer of brownie mix. If you use an 8×8 pan, they will fit perfectly! If you use another pan, you’ll have to do some breaking and puzzle work, but it’s still do-able.
  5. Spread the rest of the brownie mix on top.
  6. Bake according to the box directions but subtract two minutes from the bake time (I believe it comes out to 40 mins. instead of 42).
  7. Cool, cut, and enjoy!

If you give these a try, let me know how you like them!  You can also substitute other types of candy bar.  I’ve heard that Reeses Peanut Butter Cups make for a delicious alternative, but I haven’t tried them yet!  I hope to hear some of your ideas and suggestions!

Cake Pops

Have you tried those delicious little pink gems at Starbucks recently?

 

Birthday Cake Pop

If you haven’t, then you should.  Or maybe not.  They’re pretty addictive!  They are absolutely decadent and they’re such a small snack size that you feel much less guilty than if you’d eaten an actual slice of cake.    I’ve come to really enjoy these, and I’ve noticed that they’ve become quite a trend.  I’ve seen them in bridal magazines and sites, on Pinterest, etc.  And I can see why… they’re awesome!

I’ve been looking for some recipes and ideas on how to make them at home and came across a couple of sites today.  I haven’t had a chance to make them yet, but I’m looking forward to it!  From what I’ve seen on these two sites, it seems like they are really not too difficult and could be a lot of fun!  Here are the two sites I found:

DIY Cake Pop Recipe

Cake Pops Recipe

The first link gives more detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures, while the second link gives a wider variety of recipes.

 

If you get a chance to try making these (or if you already have and have any suggestions), please let me know!  I am hoping to give them a shot eventually and I will be sure to post once I have.  I’m currently in the process of packing for a move, so it will probably be a while before I have a chance to bake anything, but I wanted to share this idea anyway!